Monday 7 May 2012: Village Conference Centre
This was probably the most serious village conference I've been at so far.
It took place in the Chief's village of Ukani and was attended by the nine village headmen in the area. I have never seen so many old women together before and then we had the committee for the project and of course the children.
The purpose of this is a new idea for us, a farm co-operative for commercial farming to be used as a project by a mainly women's group to earn their living but also to help out the vulnerable in their area and to work on gender and women's issues, but also be a model for others
This was a most positive meeting with a very positive community tucked away in a remote location and lucky for them untroubled and unaffected by Aid. They were delighted that we came and will help start them off, but they will be equally delighted when we leave and let then get on with their lives. They realise that they can only empower themselves and they are determined to achieve.
On Thursday we will purchase nine and a half hectares of land for this group of 17 women and 2 men, who will begin work immediately. The plan is to approach the ministry for initial stock of cow(s) and pigs, for which they will mould and make bricks and construct buildings. They have plans for a fish pond, agro forestry, paprika, fruit trees and beehives. All this will be directed by Dupu the son of the chief who is a most remarkable farmer himself and lives close to the lands. A repayment plan is in place for the loan.
We are delighted to play a little part in this model farm and looking forward to bringing others to see it. Another minor miracle in Malawi